GET TO KNOW: EMMA HANDLEY

Emma Handley is one half of Northern Juice, a cold-pressed juice delivery business, based in Hexham and with a cool pop-up in Newcastle.
NORTHERN JUICE

The company has recently launched a pop-up shop in Newcastle, where clean-eaters can sample its cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies, wellness shots and other healthy drinks, plus its new range of raw treats and clean eats. She runs it with her husband Andrew, a fourth-generation Hexham greengrocer.

I always start the day with…

A matcha, maca and tahini almond milk latte. Creamy, with a hint of bitterness, anti-oxidising, hormone-balancing and with a little caffeine lift – without the crash!

I’m definitely more of a savoury gal…

Any kind of tapas, smorgasbord, mezze or savoury nibble type of situation is right up my street. All those different flavours and textures complementing and contrasting are a joy. The informality of eating like that suits me, too.

NORTHERN JUICEIt’s all about the early brekkie in our house…

Our youngest is an early riser, so we like to get up and out with her. We’re a busy day type of family, especially now that we’re nurturing a fledgling business. Breakfast for the wee one tends to be porridge made with goats milk and cinnamon, or a two-egg and banana ‘pancake’ (that’s literally the ingredients list right there) cooked in coconut oil for all those lovely fats. As time is scarce, I’m happy with a gently poached egg with asparagus, spinach or even long-stem broccoli, and kippers.

For me, clean eating means staying away from industrially processed food…

I’m less concerned with looks these days – I just want to be vital and healthy in the long-term and I’m trying to give myself the best opportunity for that by feeding my body with care. I’m currently pescetarian, though in the past I’ve been a long-term vegetarian, Mars Bar and Monster Munch-eater, Saturday night reveller and, most recently, into paleo. Overall, I would say make everything you can from scratch, take responsibility for your food choices, but crucially, don’t be too hard on yourself. In fact, I’ve decided to stop using the term ‘clean’ in reference to food – the word’s binary opposite has very unhelpful connotations in today’s complex culture. I prefer ‘wholesome’!

Aside from a good sharp knife, I’d be lost without my julienne peeler…

Not that glamorous, but if  you want slaw, garnishes, veggie noodles…no problem! No fancy equipment needed, minimum parts, maximum effect!

Maple syrup and coconut sugar are our sweeteners of choice at Northern Juice…NORTHERN JUICE

And we obviously always steer clear of refined sugar Maple syrup and coconut sugar contain phyto nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals, among other benefits. Even so, a sweet treat really should be that – a once in a while, comforting, delicious indulgence. Though our cakes and raw treats are made with the simplest list of unrefined ingredients possible, they can still be super calorific, so respecting where all sweet things are concerned is our rule of thumb. My personal sweet indulgence is honeycomb. I love everything about it. It reminds me of being a little girl in the Cotswolds.

I’m a firm believer in the power of everyday vegetables, herbs and fruit…

You can get them everywhere and, if you look in the right places, they’re affordable for everyone. I can’t get enough flat leaf parsley at the moment. The most humble of herbs, parsley is an everyday ingredient with a fantastic nutritional profile. I use it in large quantities in numerous dishes; as a salad leaf, in salsas and in omelettes. Cut up some chunky sweet tomatoes, cucumber, a big handful of flat leaf parsley, drizzle with some olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly-ground pepper. Simple, fresh, delicious.

If I want to treat myself to something naughty, I’ll go for a bottle of Fluery from a place called Boda Home in Whitley Bay…

It’s a gorgeous independent shop that sells organic and biodynamic wines, as well as other good quality local food and drink. A Marc Temp Pinot Blanc and a platter of tasty nibbles does the trick too.

The best meal I’ve ever had was…

At a tiny little restaurant in Memphis many years ago. A friend in the know took me there, which was essentially a shack with no signage. It was my first encounter with scallops; they were meltingly tender and utterly delicious, prepared with a delicate touch not typically associated with food from the American south at the time. I was smitten.

NORTHERN JUICEThe one food I can’t say no to is…

Any form of cheesy, creamy potato dish. Throughout all three of my pregnancies I craved buttery mash. Put a potato gratin or dauphinoise in front of me and I’m yours. It’s possibly the only pre-processed dish you’ll find in my shopping basket. It’s hard to pass up if I’m running through M&S on the way home.

I’ve never been vegan – I desperately love cheese and would pick it over chocolate any day…

But as my food journey continues and my boundaries shift, I’m making a decisive move to eradicate dairy from life. The fact remains that a dairy cow’s life is shaped by the fundamental need for ongoing milk production – and there’s nothing natural about it. Milk is not so much of a problem for me – I can get the same, if not more, comfort from a golden spiced turmeric milk – but I still find myself trying to justify just one more wedge of crumbly smoked stilton. It may take a bit of focus, but the line is definitely drawn now. Time to move on to other simple pleasures. There’s more to life than cheese, after all.

Homegrown food rocks because its accessible to everyone, brings communities together, keeps our pounds in our pockets and good food on our plates…

As far as I’m concerned, there’s never been a more crucial time to look shop locally and look at what you can do to do your bit. Grow a pot of parsley on your window sill, fill a window box, get an allotment or share in your community garden or growing project.

My favourite meal on our menu is…

Our black pepper tofu – at least over the last couple of weeks. Tofu doesn’t sound that promising to a lot of people, but I think it’s totally delicious – crisp, sweet, hot, spiced and salty all at the same time. If I was having a treat, I’d probably go for our vegan Matcha cake. It’s made with spelt and banana – so soft, dense and moist. It has a lemon frosting, made from coconut cream and fresh lemons. Satisfying for body and soul – the Northern Juice way.


northernjuice.com

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